Argentina to Hand Out 82 Million Free Condoms

Argentina's health ministry reports that the country plans to give out 82 million condoms at health centers, schools, prisons, bars, and nightclubs as well as through a network of approximately 3,000 other permanent locations at public agencies throughout the next year. The purpose of the free distribution of condoms and the related free dissemination of 17 million lubricating gels is to "ensure access to preventative methods against sexually transmitted diseases," according to a ministry statement. Argentina sees approximately 5,500 new HIV diagnoses each year, and the ministry notes that 90 percent of new infections come from unprotected sex. However, the agency did note that the number of new HIV infections has dropped by more than 30 percent since 2004, with the infection rate in 2010 standing at 11.7 cases per 100,000 individuals, down from 17.3 cases per 100,000.